Sunday, 31 January 2010

School trip

Hugo and Jean kindly paid to hire a coach to take some of the children, teachers and staff to visit Pondicherry today. On the way, they stopped at Auroville and this photo shows the Matrimandir in the background. It is a real treat for the children to go on school trips which are only able to be organised occasionally due to the cost. Thank you Hugo and Jean!

I have been wanting to visit Pondicherry for some time- perhaps on my next visit?

Thursday, 28 January 2010


From the recent blog, you will know about Sabina, a young girl at our Mettupalayam School. She was diagnosed as suffering from acute tonsillitis which had been affecting her for some years. Incredibly underweight, the hospital doctor said that she was too ill to have the operation, so we have been providing her with liquid food supplements to build up her weight and strength. She went into hospital on the 21st December and has had her tonsils removed. When we were in India two weeks ago, she had just restarted school. Pictured with her grateful father, it is thanks to Laura and Emily that she was diagnosed, thanks to IRDT and Venkat for the food supplements and not least, thanks to the Government Hospital doctors for the free operation.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Self Help Groups

One of the most important activities organised by IRDT in both project areas is the foundation and support for self help groups or Sanghams. Gomathi now works with over 185 groups, in excess of 3500 people, mainly women but with some male farmers clubs. All but two of these are being run successfully, repaying their Indian Bank loans and developing their small enterprises. Whilst at the project we attended a meeting with the only group having real problems where the leader and deputy had taken funds from the other members and used them for personal expenditure. To see Gomathi and Venkat, with the support of the majority of the group, taking these women to task was an awesome sight! Having changed leaders, we were told that the money would be repaid to the group over the coming month.
These groups are effective, not just in improving the local economy but also helping their members effect real social change.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy New Year

One of the highlights for the children at Mettupalayam School has been the increasing ability to arrange school trips this year. The most recent trip pictured was for the older children to visit the famous sea temples of Mamallapuram, close to our Nambikki project. Until recently, many children hadn't seen the sea, so this is a real treat for them! A big thank you to Ashfield Infants School, Workington who recently raised funds for us which paid for these school trips.

This post also gives everyone here in the UK the chance to wish all our Friends where ever you may be, a very Happy New Year.